tv Inside Washington PBS May 1, 2011 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT
>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico," reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. these are the leaders i have chosen to guide us through the difficult days ahead. >> this week on "inside washington," president obama orders a major restructuring of his national-security team. >> if gas prices are $6, he certainly isn't going to win. >> we are not going to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. >> the president releases is a long former birth certificate. why did he take the bait?
>> i feel i've accomplished something really, really important, and i'm honored by it. >> and the royal wedding. nobody knows how to throw a party like the british. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- as the week ended, americans were glued to their television sets watching the marriage of prince william to kate middleton. the president toward alabama. within three outer people have lost their lives in southern states hit by tornadoes. president obama shook up his national-security team. at the top, cia chief leon panetta to defense, general
david petraeus the cia. what is the decision to put a four-star general who is expert in counterinsurgency eighth in charge of the cia mean, charles? >> the most important conference indices in afghanistan and pakistan, and he knows it. if you want somebody who is at the center of something important, he is where you should be. he is a great general and he will make an excellent cia director. >> colby? >> he is a leader, and that is what the cia needs, a leader and a good manager who understands how it works and institutions of government. >> nina? >> it seems to me he is the right person. sometimes you watched eveves unfold and you like what you see but there's not much you can do about it. we are watching the intelligence community and defense community sort of emerge as one, which means less oversight from
anybody outside, but i don't know what you can do about it. >> mark? >> he means he will not be chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and he will not be supreme nato commander, and he will be reporting as a four-star genal to the three-ar general, national intelligence, which is interesting. he certainly does, with high marks, as my colleagues say. >> here is what the president says about leon panetta, is that future secretary of defense. >> a former congressman and white house chief of staff, leon knows how to lead. as a cia director who has played a decisive role in the fight against extremism, he understands that we began the transition i afghanistan and we must remain on wavering in the fight against al qaeda. >> as a former omb director, he would make tough budget decisions. read between the lines on his appointment, mark.
>> leon panetta did not know barack obama, so it is all based on his performance. he went into the cia with no bigger revenue, like predecessors that president bush said in there, who brought their entire congressional staff to run the place. he won a the trust and earned the respect of those there and in the process, earned the respect of the white house. he was a budget director, a budget hawk one in the house, and he has regulations at both ends of pennsylvania avenue. >> charles? >> i think the key word mark said was "budget." this is not a guy who was appointed for a strategic vision, but it is a guy who knows how to cut the budget. this is a signal that oma, as he saiearlier in theeek, when talking about that, that is the one place he wants to cut,
and panetta will be his instrument. >> i am not sure that is entirely true. panetta went into the cia, and the cia was very antsy about having him. he did not come in with heavy attack from people there. he won over the agency -- he did not come in with at be ta -- happy talk from people there. he won over the agency. that agency ts people live. you are looking to replace robert gates, probably the best it secretary of modern times, and you want somebody who managed to do ok at the cia. that is a good recommendation. >> someone savvy politically going to 2012. >> i met leon panetta in 1970 when he was at the department of health, education, and welfare in the office of civil rights under richard nixon -- >> and quit. >> on principle. he does this sound very well. he is the ultimate goal-to guy.
jim baker was at the other one with the reagan administration and b -- jim bakker was another one with the reagan administration. rare commodities the people who are essential to government. >> and he has worn a uniform in this country with military service, which is rare. >> but i think what is important of the two up clemons is the political -- what underlies it politically. it mark is right in pointing up at betray us was the obvious guy you think of to be as sharp -- pointing up petraeus as the guy you would think of to be chairman of troy gee spirit if he retired, he would be a political presence in the country and an attack of presidential candidate. this way, -- attractive presidential candidate. this way, petraeus will be a
silent on one point. panetta -- cutting the budget is his job. >> the cia has for some time now been paramilitary. i wonder if that will be built up. >> that is exactly what i was talking about. i am assuming it will, and that means less and less oversight. one of the great things about the american military is that it has really help people to certain kinds of standards in warfare. the cia does not necessarily have those same standards. it is a classic intelligence agency, and i don't know what happenshen you meld the two. >> you have the panetta who has had to deal with that problem, the relationship between cia and national security, and at pa etraeus, who understands that as well. >> bob gates was the one cabinet
secretary that brought about could not fire or replace. he had ture in tha office because of who he was and why he came from. afghanistan. the other -- he put pressure on afghanistan. the other thing is ryan crocker -- >> came out of retirement. >> very important. >> it is a pity he is in afghanistan. he ought to be in iraq, were needed a spectacular job. >> the president tries to defuse the birth or controversy. >> we don't have time for this silliness. we have got better stuff to do, i've got better stuff to do. we have problems to solve, and i'm confident we can solve them, we have to focus on them. >> i am taking great credit you
have to ask the president, why didn't he do this a long time ago? >> that is donald trott, taking credit for the fact that the president of united states has released his long form birth certificate. mr. trump has moved onto questioning the president's academic credentials, how he got into columbia and harvard law school. by the way, was president of the harvard law review. "the new york times" said on friday that his decision to prove that he was a legitimate document up public office was a low and debasing, in public life. why did he do it? >> he was interviewed by george stephanopoulos, who has become a serious anchor on abc, and an interview about the budget and foreign policy, and up comes the question about the president, donald trump, and the birther movent, d ittuck in the president's craw. the other thing is that independents -- this thing was
spreading. there was a growing uncertainty about this, and i have to say, the best statement of the week -- i a aa new fan of rand paul, a freshman republican senator of kentucky, who showed intended humor. he said, "i have come to new hampshire because i am concerned. i want to see the long-term certificate of donald trump plaza republican registration in." donald trump gave thousands of dollars to charlie rangel and harry reid. >> "the new york times" went on to say that this campaign "to portray the president, as the other would not have been done against it by president." >> i agree, but i -- would not have been done against a white president."
>> i agree, but this is a loony tunes stop it the better thing politically would have been to let it run longer and make republicans look crazy. donald trump? it is all about him. "i am enormously honored, i am a g -- i take credit, me me me." >> colby? >> i was disappointed that the president did this, that he is du -- that he stooped to this. worse than that, it is that 41% of republicans believe he was not born in the united states, on the basis of what? on the basis of what? no evidence at all. how do y y -- the whole idea of what has been going on the last two years is to delegitimize
bronco -- is to delegitimize barack obama. earlier this week, the president takes his family to church on easter sunday -- during holy week, the president hosts of the second annual meeting, easter breakfast, with clergy. the next day, easter monday, the president is accused of dissing christianity and giving mr. short shrift. fox news picks up on it and brings added as a reactionary preacher from dallas, texas,ho implied that he does it because he is a closet muslim. thiszis part of a campaign to discredit this president on a personal level. trump adds to this and the president needs to not respond to that. >> it is somewhat amusing to hear people on the left talking
about how awful it is to delegitimize the president went and they spent half a decade saying that george bush stole the election, the bobber sticker "reelect al gore," and questioning the legitimacy of 2000. on that issue there is a double standard -- you spoke for about eight minutes, let me have onee here. the second point is, the birther issue was hurting republicans. it is an idiocy and conspiracy that fed on itself. i commend the president, as with "the wall street journal" editorial board, whoas not a friend of the president, or saying it does not help the country. the president began a debate on a the size of government, the rhinoplasty, the president's plan, and this is the -- ryan
plan, the president's plan, and this is a distraction. i am glad it's over. >> does this need to the controversy? > conspiracies -- does this end the controversy? >> conspiracies never die, but it is irrelevant. >> the interesting thing about this it and the way it played out is that there were conspiracy theorist who say that george bush was involved in 9/11. the democrats treated at idea like total pariah -- >> except van jones, who was in the white house. >> they got rid of him. >> can i finish? anybody who did that publicly was run out of the party. republicans did not walk away from this right away. eventually, the leadership came to see this as incredibly
damaging and did start to walk away from it. >> but i saw people on television analyzing a long-form -- >> look, that is going to happen. there are a finite number of people in this country from barack obama can do nothing but die. maybe they will be happy then. how do you figure it maureen davenport, a member of the orange county republican committee, who sends out earlier this month that picture showing three figures -- a super imposed their faces on the heads of pansies. "ah, now we know why there is no birth certificate. she is a chi -- he is a child of chimps."
she is still there, a prominent republican their. this is not only to dehumanize them, it but to degrade him, whether we see them challenging his academic credentials, lying about his religion -- >> name me a serious -- >> i just -- first of all, mike huckabee, a former republican president a candidate, maybe future, had the best rebuttals to anybody when anybody came up ,ho gave him this birhtether bs and he would say, "if this was true, do you think clinton wouldn't find out about it in 2008?" just a great bottle -- rebuttal. i think it is a deep-seated antagonism and it takes the form of "he is not one of us, he is not like us."
that is what it is, and that is not going to go away. there is a hostity and angoni. pointwhat about charles' that there was an attempt to delegitimize the george w. bush? >> going to consider the request now? we are running out of time. >> you may think it was not nice, but it was not personal -- >> when they called him hitler and said he lied as into a war? lying a country into aar is not personal? >> that is not the same as saying he was not a citizen, you are a chimpanzee -- >> it is a lot worse. there is not a serious, responsible republican in leadership who is not relieved and happy that this is over.
the top are sarkoz -- the hypocrisy on the other side is staggering. they call to bush essentially a trader, a man who wants to destroy america and led us into killed our soldiers is orders of magnitude beyond birther conspiracies. >> if people don't feel better about government-run health care, i don't think he can win. if gas prices are $5 or $6, he certainly isn't going to win. >> house speaker john boehner a in an exclusive interview with jonathan karl, abc news. >> $6 a gallon of its everybody -- $6k a gallon it affects everybody who was elected in this city, not just the president. but the sad things fluctuate and reflect conditions of the world -- these things like to identify conditions of the world.
>> boehner said it was may be time to look at subsidies. paul ryan says he agrees. i wonder if they would get in hot water for this. >> i don't think they will, because oil companies are pretty unpopular right now. john boehner is right, if gas is $6 a gallon, you do not want to be a library board trustee in poughkeepsie, new york running for reelection. it is going to be tough. it was $1.84 per gallon when the president took office, it is a $4 a gallon now. if it continues to double, that is a problem for everybody. >> ryan and some of the other republicans are running into the same problem as democrats running into the elections with mecare. the unions are dogging him as he goes around wisconsin.. >> what's interesting is i would
have fought in the polling, it would be 3-1 against. it is adulate neck and neck, 49- 47, -- actually neck-and-neck, 49-47 who are against him in. if you break it down a generation are the ones -- can a russian, the ones who are most of those are the young. -- if you break it down a generationally,he ones wh are st alarming are the young. with all the demagoguery, it is still neck-and-neck. it is not the poison that democrats are hoping it will be brought the president is in trouble because of the economy. the gdp number was so low this week, and if it stays low and gas prices are high, the republicans have a much better chance than anybody would have thought two or three months ago. >> pray tell, what i date neck- and-neck about? -- what are they neck-and-neck about? >> ryan plan to voucherize
medicare. >> the polls i have seen -- maybe we don't move in the same circles. >> the one i saw asked whether you want pay per visit medicare versus premium support, cbs/"new york times" two weeks ago shows a majority support for the ryan idea. >> well, i have seen consistently to-what opposition to the plan as described. -- two-one opposition to the plan as described. no question that the republicans had been planned recess in town meetings, especially republicans in -- had been playing defense in town meetings, especially republicans in the northeast, any kind of constituency that is a blue- collar and older. why are young people concerned?
they are concerned because they are terrified that date will have to pick up the tab for the parents. if you have parents who are approaching retirement age, you are looking at medicare to really be a cushion in their retirement. >> mississippi gov. haley barbour has decided not to run for president. why not? >> it means mitch daniels is slightly more likely to run because he and haley are friends and kind of had an understanding that only one would run dry in the is a gaping hole in the south of republicans. >> he decided he would like i to eat too much. he has been on a diet all year and he decided he hated it so much -- >> if i had to choose between a pizza and air force one, i would choose. >> -- i would choose air force
one. >> you know who loses? everybody who covers this race. he is fine and he has a goo -- is fun and has a goo -- and is a good politician. >> my assumption is that i take him at his word, that he did not have the fire in his belly. you look at everything you out in life and see how it might be construed -- you have done in life and see how it might be construed -- >> he looked at the situation from all angles and realized he would have a hard time winning. >> other candidates are looking for his support. >> he could be at the cinet now he is a respectable guy who kns how to run estates and parties -- states and parties. >> he assembled one of the most able teams at all of politics on the republican side. >> he saw a giant pizza pie and
decided he cannot do it. >> if you have eight donald trump-sarah palin ticket, that -- >> i am not taking the bait. >> a word on the royal wedding, next. prince william and kate middleton at now husband and wife. the wedding of, will prince and the commoner. could party, they know how this are one of their -- how to throw one there. >> beside the fact that british ?oyalty is entirely and expensive institution, they are a lovely couple and i wish them well. i like a marriage, i like weddings, i have been married almost 50 years.
i would like to see them five years from now, 10 years from now. still married, then we can at have a celebration. >> let me say a good word about the british royal family -- i searched for one, but i found it. these privileged people served the country in military service. what at the amerans have the samexample ofeopl in high positions of leadership have children in their family it served in the same way? >> we have been to the -- they have been together for 10 years in one form or another. she is so discreet, but not once has she said anything mean about him in all of those years. >> she said ther -- he said to her that he wanted her to take a good a hard look at the life she was entering and give her a chance to --
a duchess?be >> why are americans so i love? >> is a great show -- it is a a great show. >> i saw something on all the tv's. >> that an enormous crowd, thousands and as a people, and nobody pushing and shoving? only in great people. >> americans love looking at twits in sashes. >> i thought it was a great show. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv.